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After Dartmouth Menorah Was Vandalized, Hanover Police Seek More Information

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Shira Hoffer
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Earlier this week, seven of the nine lights on the menorah on the Dartmouth College green were shot out with what appears to be a pellet gun.  

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon called the incident a quote “appalling act of anti-Semitism” that went beyond vandalism or a prank because quote “it seeks to diminish the rich culture and history of the Jewish people.”  

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The college did proceed with lighting the eighth candle Thursday night, and a group of community members came to show support for the area’s Jewish community.  

Shira Hoffer, a 19-year-old from Hanover, attended the gathering. As an intern for the Anti-Defamation League of New England, Hoffer says she’s been dealing with reports of vandalism and anti-Semitism in other forms. But it was a “jarring experience” to have this happen in her town. 

“I was surprised that this happened here, in part because it's a very close knit town and you never really imagined this type of thing would happen in your town,” she said. 

Hoffer said the group went through a “pretty standard menorah lighting.” The rabbi said a few words, and the eighth light was lit. 

It was still poignant for Hoffer because, she says, one of the goals of the Jewish holiday is to publicly display the miracle of Hanukkah.  

“You’re going to try and destroy our public declaration of faith, and we’re going to come back the next night and fulfill the commandment anyway,” she said. 

The menorah is now in the college's maintenance shop for repair. 

Hanover police and Dartmouth security are investigating the incident. In a statement Friday, Hanover police said they had not found video that showed the area of the menorah. The department says that the incident happened between Tuesday and Wednesday night. 

If anyone has more information, they’re encouraged to call 603-643-2222.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She also leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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